Reroute the Trigger

Thoughts – Emotions – Triggers – Action – Results
Use Triggers to Create Positive Results

One of the challenges we have in life is the way we react to stimuli. Stimulation can happen in many ways, physical, emotional, mental, visual and even verbal. When the stimulus happens, you have a natural reaction sometimes the response is positive but most of the time the reaction is negative.

Today, I want to focus on the reaction or the triggered response that is negative. You can learn to use triggers positively to avoid negative behaviors.

Imagine these different scenarios:

Scenario 1. It’s a beautiful day, the sun’s shining, and I don’t have a problem at all, and I’m enjoying it. In the process of enjoying my time, my phone rings, and it’s a family member reminding me about the party we have tonight. Terror rips through my body when I realize who’s going to be there and they drive me insane.


Scenario 2. I struggle with pornography, and every time I go into the store, I’m triggered, and I want to act out.


Scenario 3. Every time my child does (Insert Behavior), I yell at them.

Each scenario is creating a trigger, and in this case, they are all negative.

Imagine if you could change these scenarios, but instead of the trigger creating a negative reaction, they are all positive reactions. The process is interrupting the pattern so that you can change the automatic responses that keep happening. In these scenarios that I listed above, two of them creates anger and one the person acts out, gives into the addiction.

Trigger Pattern

Change the Trigger Pattern

How to Change the Response

With the continual repetition of a particular action cemented in place for years, you must put on your inspector’s cap and first recognize what the stimuli are so that you can interrupt the patterns. For scenario number one the pattern was a family member that had developed some negative feelings. Scenario number two was the store, and the final scenario was a child.

Once you identify what the stimulus patterns are, then you go to work to logically process and think about how to interrupt them. The way you interrupt the normal reaction is by preparing yourself for entering the situation with confidence, not fighting your usual tendencies but guiding them to a different result, a positive reaction.

Example How to Use Trigger to Create Positive Result

Using scenario 2, before you walk into the store you must:

  1. Realize the trigger is real.
  2. Separate yourself from the problem, for example, I know every time I go into the store, there are some seductive magazines on the right-hand side. I’m not going to look at them, even though IT (my subconscious mind) wants me too. I don’t like the way I feel, and I don’t want to act out.
  3. Create an action plan. I’m going to walk into the store, go straight to the items I want to purchase, and then I’ll check out.
  4. Follow the action plan/path.

In scenario 1 and 2, you follow this same pattern:

  • Recognize and acknowledge the trigger, the family member or your child.
  • Every time I see (name of person) I get so mad. I don’t want to be around them, but it’s not good for the family to ignore him. When my child throws a fit, I get angry.
  • Create an action plan. I’m going to visit the family and every time I think of (insert name), I’m going to remember the fun time we had doing (insert activity). When my child throws a fit, I’m going to remember that time we bonded together and realize; he struggles too.
  • Follow the plan/path.

Creating the New Path

One thing that is very important is to create a path and follow it every time. You have trained yourself to follow or behave a negative way for so long; it’s ingrained. Now you have to gently guide your mind to the new positive path that’s the same every time to replace the old one.

Yes, go to the same positive memory when the corresponding trigger happens so you can reroute to a better life.


Tony Rhoton – Mentor, Coach, Speaker 801.787.5765

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